The correlation between histologic grade, an increasingly important measure of prognosis for patients with breast cancer, and tryptophan levels from tissues of 15 breast carcinoma patients was investigated. Changes in the relative content of key native organic biomolecule tryptophan were seen from the fluorescence spectra of cancerous and paired normal tissues with excitation wavelengths of 280 and 300 nm. Due to a large spectral overlap and matching excitation–emission spectra, fluorescence resonance energy transfer from tryptophan-donor to reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotides-acceptor was noted. We used the ratios of fluorescence intensities at their spectral emission peaks, or spectral fingerprint peaks, at 340, 440, and 460 nm. Higher ratios correlated strongly with high histologic grade, while lower-grade tumors had low ratios. Large tumor size also correlated with high ratios, while the number of lymph node metastases, a major factor in staging, was not correlated with tryptophan levels. High histologic grade correlates strongly with increased content of tryptophan in breast cancer tissues and suggests that measurement of tryptophan content may be useful as a part of the evaluation of these patients.